The hard-touring Rumpkes (the band already has several big festival appearances on the horizon, including next week’s Suwannee Springfest in Florida, where the band plays alongside John Prine, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters and numerous others) recently added a new album to sell at their merch booth. The group’s fourth full-length, High Time, Low Tide, was rolled out in late January on the band’s own RMB Music label.
The Rumpkes have built their name up on the touring circuit with their dynamic spin on traditional Bluegrass — they call it Trashgrass — with an emphasis on fluid improvisation, jaw-dropping instrumental skills and fearlessness when it comes to borrowing from other genres. With all four members singing, the group creates its string-based alchemy primarily with mandolin, banjo, upright bass and acoustic guitar. Featuring 13 original songs, High Time, Low Tide opens with the rollicking, break-neck-paced “Rolling Waves” before sliding into “Banks of the River,” a more tranquil, laid-back tune with Country Blues influences peeking through. Those two tracks exemplify the Rumpkes’ range — their songs alternately mesmerize and light your ass on fire. Elsewhere, local piano master Ricky Nye adds to the playful boogie of “Crow’s Blues,” while eclectic Louisville, Ky. saxophonist Myron Koch adds unique textures to “Why Can’t We All Grow Young” and the gritty, soulful album closer “That’s Life.”
High Time, Low Tide is available from online retailers like iTunes and Amazon, as well as indie site homegrownmusic.net. For more on the band (including links to downloadable live shows and a full list of upcoming gigs), visit rumpkemountainboys.com.